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Christmas Eve Freedom Kicks - D.C. United links for December 24, 2013

Some reading material for those of us who need just a few minutes away from familial bliss.

Paul Frederiksen-USA TODAY Sport

Like many of you, I assume, I am visiting my parents this week. And their internet is slow as all damn and occasionally just decides not to internet at all for a while. So please forgive the tardiness of Freedom Kicks this morning - it was a long, hard slog to assemble this week. Anyway, let's get to the links.

Ryan Nelsen knows he's got a short leash next year | ProSoccerTalk
We've spoken here about the limited leeway Ben Olsen will have should D.C. United get off to a slow start next season, but he's not the only head coach in MLS who will have to get results quickly in 2014.

Meanwhile in North London... | Cartilage Free Captain
Speaking of replacing managers, Spurs have named a replacement for the fired AVB.

File under Dog Bites Man | ESPN FC
Aging European star mulls a future playing in "a country like the U.S. or maybe the Emirates, but I would not count that as part of my real career." Somebody writes about it. Honestly, the rest of the details don't matter because pass.

Witness the creation of a new meme to troll a blowhard | Open Wide For Some Soccer
Meet Paul Gardner, Advice Animal.

D.C. United's improbable U.S. Open Cup run misses "Top 10 Stories" | MLSsoccer.com
One would think that anybody who is a fan of the league - of any league - would find the worst team in league play nevertheless winning a major trophy to be among the very best stories of the year. At the MLS website, one would be wrong.